“Amazing.” – Tammy, B., Librarian.
“You are the funniest writer I know.” – Amy R., Writer.
“My kids loved it. I cried at the end.” – Erica B., Ojibwe Elder and Environmentalist.
“Terrific! Ready for submission!” – Lenny G., Founder and Owner of The Corner Bookstore in NYC.
When BJ Maki’s 7th-grade history book begins to give him an alternate version of European settlement, then a warning to find the Red Hand Warrior, he thinks he is losing his mind. “Find him before the summer is out! Your family is in danger! Oh, and look up,” says the book, “your teacher is talking to you.”
An hour later, BJ has been sent to the Principal, has watched in humiliation as his little sister, Charley, destroyed the school bully, and has been told that a mysterious predator is killing farm animals, pets, and possibly breaking into homes. His father, the local Conservation Officer, is under tremendous pressure to capture or kill it. Danger is lurking in the woods of Big Marsh, Minnesota.
During a walk in the woods with Charley, BJ discovers a hidden cave and crawls inside. The walls are covered with ancient paintings of the sun, moon, animals, and people. In the center of it all, is a single red hand. The warrior? When BJ crawls out to tell Charley what he has seen, she is gone and a 15th-century Ojibwe village sits where their home used to be.
With the help of an Ojibwe Trickster and a set of patient new friends, BJ travels back and forth in time, searching for the warrior, unaware that he is slowly being taught the ancient arts of tracking, awareness, and survival. The warrior, it turns out, is BJ himself. BJ has been coyote-mentored the Native way. His developing skills make him a formidable opponent. After his final trip into the past, they will be tested more than he could have imagined. The summer before 8th-grade will be one to remember – if BJ can survive it.
Fall 2017 update:
After receiving some helpful advice from a few generous agents, I spent the last few months re-writing Shades of a Warrior down to middle grade. The story and the writing both benefited greatly from this change. The manuscript is ready to roll and I am re-submitting and querying now. If you would like to see it, please contact me here or through Twitter. My handle is @debaajimod. For future readers, interested in this series, please enter your email below to be notified of the progress and release date of Shades of a Warrior. (Your contact information is not shared and you will receive no spam or any other notifications).